By Gladys B. Vargas
October in Oxnard is officially “Fire Prevention Month,” thanks to a city council proclamation Tuesday evening.
At the regular council meeting Oct. 3., Mayor Zaragoza officially proclaimed the week of Oct. 8-14 as “fire prevention week.” The proclamation mentions the history of fire awareness, including a devastating fire in Chicago, Illinois that killed 300 people, displaced 100,000, and burned over 2,000 acres across the city of Chicago in 1871.
Both Zaragoza and Fire Chief Alex Hamilton spoke of the importance of properly being prepared in the case of a fire, and preventing one in the first place.
According to statistics listed in the proclamation, “two in every five fires in homes start in the kitchen, and 31 percent of those fires result in unattended cooking.”
The fire department’s recommendations for prevention included planning and practicing a home fire escape plan twice a year to ensure everyone in the household knows what to do in case of a real fire, and having a working smoke alarm, which cuts the risk of dying almost in half.
“This is a big deal for us… last year we lost way too many residents in residential fires and we want to change that statistic, Hamilton said. “we’re working hard towards procuring more smoke detectors, so that anyone who wants one can get one in their home, and really looking forward to doing a lot of community outreach for the next couple of months while we get those smoke detectors in hand.”